Kolkata, Nov 18: The city police on Monday denied permission to the BJP to hold a rally for its president Amit Shah in front of Victoria House on November 30, the venue where Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee holds a massive gathering on July 21 every year to commemorate the youth who were shot by the police during a protest in 1993.
The state BJP filed a petition in Calcutta High Court on Tuesday against the police's decision and the court sought an explanation from the city police commissioner on the matter. The saffron party named the rally as Uththan Diwas (Day of Rising) where Shah would sound the bugle for the 2015 Kolkata Municipal Corporation election and the assembly election the year after.
Top sources in Kolkata Police said the Bjp was denied permission to hold a rally at the said venue for it would paralyse the city's traffic system.
The court sought an explanation from the commissioner on the decision
They said only one political rally is allowed there every year for historical reasons and convention. The CPI(M) was also denied permission twice in the recent past to hold rally at that venue. The TMC has been holding its rally there since July 21, 1994, the only exception being 2011 when the rally was organised at the Brigade Parade Ground after a historic assembly election victory.
The BJP, however, is not convinced. Just like the TMC which had never sought permission for the rally when in Opposition, the saffron party, which is emerging fast to occupy the space of the main Opposition in the state, the BJP is unwilling to let it go without a fight.
State BJP president Rahul Sinha also accused a section of the police of acting as cadre of the ruling TMC. He said he had informed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about it and the latter reportedly sought a list of such officers.
In September, Shah slammed Banerjee over the Saradha scam and the infiltration issue during his one-day visit to Kolkata.